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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 11, 2005

decloaking the nameless associates

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:36 pm

The week, Dennis Kennedy, Carolyn Elefant, Bruce MacEwen and others have decried 

law firms that are removing information about associates from their websites  — e.g., any

biographical and contact information.  Well, why don’t we webloggers do something about it? 

Don’t we have these high-tech pulpits, bulletin boards, file cabinets?  Don’t we get some pretty

snazzy search engine results?


Seems to me, we could use weblog-power to undo the undue depersonalization of associates. 

We could post lists of the associates working at the various offending law firms, including as

much information as we can get about each lawyer.  Then, search engines would find the info

and make it available to those wanting to identify the lawyers at a particular firm, or wanting

to contact a particular associate, or one with particular areas of expertise. 


Naturally, the anonymized associates would be expected to get this information,

(in as complete, up to date and usable form as possible) to their favorite weblog editors.  If

the nameless ones can’t be bothered, or can’t figure out how to do this, maybe being merely

Ms. or Mr. X, Esq is all the identification they merit. 


I know this wall scribbler’s
autumn dusk


    ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue



update (March 14, 2005): Kevin Heller at TechLawAdvisor has offered his website as a platform for “decloaking” associates who have been “disappeared” by their law firm websites


tiny check  #200,000:  Meanwhile, one new associate in California has found herself in the media    dVittitoe

spotlight, and is far from anonymous —  Danika Vittitoe, a 2004 graduate of UC’s Hastings College

of the Law, in San Francisco, works in the litigation department at Arnold & Porter in Los Angeles.

No, she’s not famous for any big mistakes or scandals.  On Jan. 11, 2004, she was enrolled as

Attorney No. 200,000, by the State Bar.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 21,

2005), Ms. Vittitoe described her status as No. 200,000 as being “‘a little embarrassing,” but “said

there’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer.”  [rousing endorsement, eh?] 

  • A&P does provide vita and contact information for each of its attorneys, including associate Vittitoe.

    The consumer nanny in me was a little bit surprised to see Litigation listed as Danika’s “Field of

    Expertise.”  I don’t know when the page was written, but “expertise” sounds a bit grandiose for

    someone who joined the Bar 14 months ago today.  “Field of Practice” seems more apt. 


first snowfall–
“A B C D E F…”
she practices


    ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

mourning Judge Barnes

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:04 pm

One or twice a year, I read or hear tributes to a man who has died, and I think:  “judgeBarnes”

“I wish I could leave such a legacy, for having touched lives in a positive and

personal way.”  I do not know Rowland W. Barnes, but the words of his colleagues

and friends today, reacting to his death on the bench in an Atlanta courtroom shooting,

gave me that feeling.  Rowland Barnes sounds like the kind of lawyer and judge that I

would be grateful to know as a colleague and to have as a friend.  (see,

colleagues say, “March 11, 2004)


Judge Barnes, it is way to soon for your eulogies; your death is tragic, but your life

surely was not.

  • I learned about Judge Barnes’ death in a particularly webloggish way.

    Checking the “came from” page of my StatCounter, early this afternoon,

    I was puzzled that so many visitors were coming from Google queries for

    “Judge Rowland W. Barnes.”   You see, I mentioned Judge Barnes in a post

     about the Atlanta lawyer-tax-case fee fight, which was before Judge Barnes.

    I then remembered a news alert on the radio about an Atlanta judge being killed

    in his courtroom, and I checked Google News to confirm the victim.


today again
death draws nearer…
the wildflowers

the death bell
tolls at the temple…
winter seclusion



crows ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

jumping to confusions

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:49 pm


music two centuries old—

the color flows

out of the tea bag



another day of snow–

the statue’s fingers

broken off





her hospital room–
snow filling the small field
next to the big one



except, “her hospital room from The Heron’s Nest (May 2001)


new eyeglasses —

there’s a duck,

or a boot, on the ice 

                              [March 11, 2005]




scales rich poor neg  Mr. Retained Rights, Mike Cernovich has jumped to the conclusion that the American 

justice system is to blame for the public’s jumping to conclusions about Matt Hale and

the Lefkow murders.  Michael paints a scenario where law enforcers ended up convicting

Hale because they only looked for evidence that would prove Hale’s guilt.   If that’s how

Michael’s mind works, I’m pleased that he is not a prosecutor or police detective.  The ones

I know — even if they have a prime suspect, or want the public to think so — keep their minds

and options open.    Surely, the media gets to speculate about who a perp might be.  And,

surely, the American public has retained the right to jump to conclusions.  There’s too many

real problems to work on, Mike, for you to be grieving or “losing fiath” because of the Lefkow

case, where Hale was never arrested and the case has apparently been solved.


tiny check  Prof. Bainbridge noted a couple days ago that Democrats have big problems with Catholic

voters.  He ended by saying 

 “Perhaps more worrisome, however, is the prospect of the further division

between the parties between people of faith and the non-religious. I’m not sure

that’s a good thing. Indeed, I’m pretty sure it isn’t.

I don’t think such a division would be good for the country. But, I believe it would quickly

backfire on the Republican Party, should they give the impression that they only want

“people of faith” who are “fundamentalists” — accepting a certain brand of orthodoxy and

related political agenda.  Moderate believers might head back to the Democrats in droves.


microphoneF I agree with Monica Bay’s stance against web-payola: individual webloggers cannot

retain their reputation for independence if they take anything from vendors in exchange for

coverage of a product.  Like her commentor, Matt McCarrick, The Litigation Support Guy,

I believe there is no blanket answer to the question “are wegloggers journalists?”  Like a

telephone, Xerox copier, or pencil, the technology is used by many different people for

man different reasons.  Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a journalist, nor have any pretense

that you are, to heed Monica’s rule “don’t do it!”   If you want a reputation for objectivity, you

must be staunchly independent.   Disc jockeys weren’t journalists when they created the payola

scandals of the ’50s and ’60s.


tiny check Many Americans are lazy grasshoppers.  A recent study discussed in yesterday’s New York

Times shows that many of us use cellphones as phone books — never writing down information 

for contacting people in any other place.  (NYT, “Think of a Number … Come On, Think!,”

March 10, 2005)  This means, oh-my-god!, that losing a cellphone becomes a social catastrophe. 

It also means — thanks to speed-dialing — that many of us have not bothered to memorize anyone’s

phone number for a long time.  Since loss of memory comes with my chronic illness and my advancing

age, but can be staved off by exercising my brain’s memory cells, I’m pleased to say that I have not

speed-dialed anyone in at least 8 years.  Like those worker-ants, we techno-retros have our memory

cupboards well-stocked, while the grasshoppers fiddle away their capacity to produce important

numbers as needed.


tiny check Don’t miss Walter Olson’s coverage of an Illinois lawyer who ended up suing himself.


tiny check  Martin Grace has an explanatory post on the new Texas Medmal study.  Ted Frank ofers a very   “rx”

different perspective here.


tiny check  If anyone needs further proof that George Wallace is the king of weblog punditry, please go

here.  Of course, some curmudgeons would say that many of our lawyer-Fool’s headlines deserve


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